Is Mayslack's beef the meat to beat?
You can't open a menu at Mayslack's in Northeast Minneapolis without being hit over the head with the phrase "Nobody Beats Our Meat." Cheeky. Mayslack's has the tradition and story to back up such a claim--a classic bar founded by an old-school Polish wrestler who created a cult-like following for his beef sandwiches--but is the sandwich really that good?
To truly judge the credibility of the claim you have to order an "Original." It's a hulking mountain of beef dripping in jus and piled high on a pumpernickel bun. Mayslack's dresses up its beef in a number of ways, including a Philly, Italian beef, club, and beef and cheddar, but the Original leaves the beef on an island to stand for itself.
This particular test yielded thick and leaner-than-expected beef, but the meat certainly could have been more delicate. It wouldn't be fair to say it was tough, but it wasn't exactly tender, either. The garlic aroma on the beef is so strong that it could easily be positioned as vampire repellent--sorry, Team Edward. It was unique and added intrigue, but the scent hung around like a belch on an airplane. The biggest disappointment was the lack of seasoning. Introducing a few pinches of dried herbs would have done just the trick and offset the big garlic surge. The pumpernickel bun and the jus added a nice combo of sour and salty, but if you're not tasting beef first and foremost, it really doesn't mean much.
Sandwich Rating: Good, not Great. The beef hits a few key necessities, but it likely isn't the best in the business. We're still on the lookout for that one.
Epic Sandwich copyright 2010 by Teddy Hobbins
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